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US Public Debt as a percentage of GDP

Original post made by Anonymous on Nov 19, 2007

Here's an interesting graph of the US public debt as a percentage of the GDP. I've always wondered what happened to fiscal conservation after the supply side voodoo economists took over.

Web Link

Comments (13)

Posted by janette, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 20, 2007 at 4:39 am

I don't think it's so much Republican Presidents as it is idiot Presidents. Barry Goldwater and old time Republicnas must be spinning in their graves to see what Reagan/Bush have done.

That said, we are in big trouble economically due to Bush treating spending on his war like Monopoly money.


Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:14 am

For a really great and enlightening time, go look at the public debt as a percent of GDP of all the European countries, especially the ones who are anti-"voodoo" supply side economics...

As a PS, our public debt comes from our rapidly escalating entitlement programs. Thankfully our "voodoo" economics have helped us keep up with our overall debt, or we wouldn't be able to keep spending tax money like we do on health care, education, welfare, aid to dependent children, and subsidized housing.

Look at the graph again and note when the percentage of GDP debt decreases...gosh, do you see the correlation with tax cuts?

good grief


Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:15 am

Janette, try reading the federal budget since 2000...notice any massive increases in Medicare and Education spending? BTW, compare the health, education, welfare spending to the military spending..you will be shocked.


Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:24 am

My bad. I foolishly assumed that the graph was going to have all the info.

Here is a link to the full info up to 2005.

Web Link

Remember...Democrat presidents DROP military spending ( 30% of budget decrease under good ol' Clinton was military..which is why we were caught flat-footed after 9/11). So, of course Reagan and now Bush have had to beef up the military.

Also remember, by the end of Democrat pres runs, we have recession, which the Repubs have to fix. We get the economy rolling again, build up our military, so that people get complacent and vote in a Dem to destroy it all again.




Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:29 am

That said, we must decrease our spending. Here is a good paper on how.

Web Link

Soon we will be France where people strike because their full retirement at age 50 is threatened. Oh...go look up France's debt to GDP sometime. And all the other left-leaning (ie democrats) European countries. France's would be even worse except they count on everyone else's military for their protection.


Posted by Charlie B., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:29 am

Okay, good grief. Let's compare education spending to military spending. Which one serves our country better? I know where I'd like the bulk of my money to go.


Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:30 am

hmmmm....the more we spend on education, the worse we do compared to most of the developed world.....which depends on us to protect them with our money.


Posted by Charlie B., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:32 am

Gee, maybe it's the way we spend it??


Posted by good grief, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:42 am

of course it is!

If education outcomes had half the scrutiny of military outcomes, we would have the best education system in the world.

with one caveat-you can't legislate out bad families, which is the single biggest factor in student failure.


Posted by Charlie B., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:55 am

'bad families'. O-kay. Maybe this is an education issue, too. And if you agree, then you agree with my argument that spending - smart spending - on education serves our country better than the irresponsible military spending currently going on.

btw, health and welfare spending are right up there with education in priority. Shall we weed out the 'bad families' for those benefits, too?


Posted by Periwinkle, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2007 at 11:54 am

good grief: "If education outcomes had half the scrutiny of military outcomes"

You just detroyed your credibility. Where are the $55K toilets in public schools? The military budget serves the rich, while the education budget goes begging.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 20, 2007 at 12:24 pm

These debt vs. GDP charts and graphs are fairly meaningless. The following link is a table that shows the ratio for various countries.

Web Link

Canada, France and Germany all have higher levels of debt to GDP than the U.S. Chile has a very low ratio. So what?

There has been wild talk, recently, about denominating oil in terms of a mixed bag of currencies, especially the Euro. It won't happen, because the oil market is extremely committed to the oil index, as is (in dollars). However, suppose it did? The Euro is completely vulnerable to a natural gas shut-off by the Russians. The United States lacks such vulnerabilities. If one was to follow the implied logic of debt/GDP it would make sense to denominate oil in terms of the Chilean currency. Any fools out there that want to do that?

The United States is the lone superpower. That means that we end up paying for the wars that are necessary to shape the world in a better way. Jimmy Carter had a relatively low debt/GDP ratio and he fiddled while the world turned red with the communist tide. Ronald Reagan increased that ratio, but he fought back, and won the cold war. FDR and Truman increased the ratio tremedously, but they won WWII. Bill Clinton, like Carter, fiddled, and he improved the ratio a little. George Bush fought to liberate Iraq, and his ratio increased a little. If Iraq is successfull, as it currently looks to be, Bush will be seen in a very favorable light, despite the small uptick in the ratio.


Posted by To Gary, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 21, 2007 at 9:21 am

Thanks Gary, ran out of time, but that was going to be my next posting..comparing debt to GDP of other countries.

The point is more along the lines of ...If I make 100,000/year and owe 30,000, it is a lot less of a burden than if I make 50,000/year and owe 30,000. Percent of debt is important for that reason.


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